Known for its passionate flamenco, engrossing art galleries, beautiful countryside, and laid-back lifestyle, Spain is the perfect place for a vacation. Whether you want to spend your days discovering treasures kept safe in world-renowned museums or indulging in the local culinary scene, you’ll never be at a loss for things to do in Spain.
Attracting over 80 million tourists each year, Spain is one of the most-visited countries in the world. It first became popular in the 1960s, when people flocked to the tourist destination to enjoy the sun, sea, and sand. While many parts of the country boast excellent climates and stunning coastlines, there’s much more to Spain than sunshine and beaches!
Visitors travel from all over the planet for the chance to gaze at Antoni Gaudi’s iconic architecture in Barcelona, embrace the bohemian lifestyle in the Balearic Islands, and join in on dynamic festivals that last for weeks.
With such a huge choice of fantastic things to see and do, you might not know where to begin. To give you a helping hand, we’ve put together a list of the absolute best things to do in Spain.
Add these fun activities and attractions to your Spain bucket list, and get ready to have an amazing time discovering one of the most diverse and captivating countries in the world!
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The 25 Best Things to Do In Spain
1. Be amazed by the Sagrada Familia
Located in Barcelona, the Sagrada Familia is one of Gaudi’s most impressive achievements. The famous artist designed the basilica in 1882, and it’s still under construction today. Because the work has taken so long, some of the original parts have had to be refurbished!
If you want to visit the completed Sagrada Familia, you’ll have to wait until 2026. But the building is so unique, enchanting, and astounding that it’s definitely worth a visit while it’s under construction.
The outside of the building is decorated with a mixture of biblical allegories and complex natural symbols which cover every pinnacle, column, and spire. The result is a one-of-a-kind cathedral you won’t be able to tear your gaze away from.
Step inside the Sagrada Familia, and you’ll truly be blown away! The interior is adorned with bone-like columns that stretch across the ceiling like a ribcage. When the sun is shining, the colossal stained-glass windows bathe the inside in colorful light, giving the place a spiritual and ethereal vibe.
2. Explore the highest peak in Spain in Tenerife
One of the coolest things to do in Spain is to visit Mount Teide. At 12,188 feet above sea level, Mount Teide is the highest peak in all of Spain. Although it’s technically a volcano (its eruption created the island of Tenerife), it’s dormant, so you don’t have to worry about any volcanic activity during your visit.
The easiest way to check it out is to drive into the Teide National Park and ride the cable car to the top. The cable car is often closed due to high winds, so check the website before you go. If the weather’s clear, you can see over the glistening sea out to several other Canary Islands.
If the weather’s cloudy, there’s a good chance you’ll get to see Tenerife’s iconic “Mar de Nubes.” This natural phenomenon translates as “Sea of Clouds” and is just that – thick, fluffy clouds that form a complete layer, like a sea, down below you. It’s a bizarre sight you can’t see in many places!
3. Indulge your artistic side in the Golden Triangle
Madrid is home to some stellar art galleries and three of the most prestigious form the Golden Triangle. These three treasures are all located close to the Paseo del Prado – the city’s oldest urban garden.
The Museo del Prado was inaugurated in 1819 and boasts more than 27,000 paintings. Here you can admire some of the most sought-after works by Goya, Rubens, and Velázquez. If you really want to see it all, you can easily spend an entire day here.
The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía is dedicated to contemporary and 20th-century art. The highlight is undoubtedly Picasso’s Guernica, but there are plenty of other masterpieces from Joan Miró and Salvador Dalí, too. If you want to find out more, there’s also a comprehensive library with over 100,000 books.
Despite being the smallest and least popular museum in the Golden Triangle, the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza is still remarkable and worthy of a visit. Here you can discover some of the finest impressionist and expressionist work from artists across Europe and America.
4. See a flamenco show in Seville
If you find yourself in Seville, don’t miss the chance to see an authentic and passionate flamenco show. Although no one knows for sure where the mesmerizing dance was invented, experts are pretty certain it was in southern Spain, somewhere between Seville, Cadiz, and Grenada.
Flamenco first began as a way for gypsies to express the anguish of their oppressed lives in bars when words weren’t enough. Many of these bars still exist today and are where you’ll find some of the best and most genuine performances.
With fabulous outfits, rhythmic dancing, and powerful singing, a flamenco performance can really suck you in and leave you spellbound!
El Patio Sevillano boasts the oldest flamenco show in Seville. The venue is first come, first served, so make sure you get there early for a front-row seat. You’ll get to see various different styles of flamenco performed here, including the traditional flamenco dance, as well as the clásico español version with castanets.
5. Gorge on paella in Valencia
To help keep your energy levels up during your Spain sightseeing tour, dig into paella at every opportunity you get! There are countless variations of the classic rice dish. So no matter how picky your taste buds are, you’re guaranteed to find a type you enjoy.
If you’re in Valencia, you’ve got to give the classic Valencian paella a try. It contains a combination of chicken, rabbit, sausage, snails, runner beans, and butter beans. The ingredients might be a little beyond your comfort zone, but it’s one of the region’s most delicious and authentic dishes.
For the best paella in Valencia, make a reservation at Restaurante Navarro. Here you’ll find one of the most delicious versions of Valencian paella in the region, as well as plenty of other varieties to choose from.
Seafood paella loaded with squid, jumbo shrimp, mussels, and razor clams is also popular. While most paellas contain meat, fish, or seafood, some places offer vegetarian and vegan varieties. Arrozeando in Malaga does an amazing plant-based paella full of caramelized seasonal vegetables.
6. Discover the unparalleled beauty of Montserrat
If you’re in Barcelona and want to take a road trip, drive to Montserrat! A stunning community perched on top of a remote mountain and accessible via cable car, Montserrat is just a short drive away from the city, but it feels like a whole other world.
Around 80 monks live according to the Rule of Saint Benedict in this peaceful paradise. If you visit the monastery itself, you can attend one of the Montserrat choirboy performances. They’re held every day (except major holidays) at 1 pm, and entry is free.
There are plenty of other things to do in this charming part of the country, too. If the weather’s fine, follow one of the many hikes through blissful mountain trails. From up here, you can see for miles all across Cataluña.
When you get hungry, check out the farmers’ market. Here you can pick up fresh, seasonal products to snack on during your visit. Don’t miss the chance to check out the interactive exhibit where you can learn all about Montserrat from when it was founded up until today.
7. Be amazed by Las Fallas in Valencia
For one of the most unique things to do in Spain, make sure you’re in Valencia during March. For five days each year, the coastal city celebrates Las Fallas, one of the biggest, best, and most extraordinary festivals in Europe.
During the run-up to Las Fallas, local people make giant cartoon-like characters out of wood and papier-maché. These huge sculptures can measure up to 50 feet high and cost up to $140,000 to build.
The impressive characters are put on display for a short while before judging takes place and one is announced the winner. The winning creation is safe until next year, but the rest are burned to the ground in spectacular bonfires larger than you’ve ever seen before.
Other events in Las Fallas include massive firework displays, incredible pyrotechnic shows, music concerts, street parades, paella contests, beauty pageants, and daily firecracker extravaganzas throughout the city. There’s nothing else like it in the world!
8. Hike the Camino de Santiago
The Camino de Santiago is one of Spain’s most challenging and rewarding hikes. You don’t have to be an experienced hiker to complete it, but you do have to have a lot of stamina and commitment.
There are many different routes to choose from, ranging from comparatively short 75-mile walks to demanding 620-mile routes. Whichever path you choose to follow, you’ll have an incredible time and see some of the most captivating, rugged beauty Spain has to offer.
You can take your time and hike according to your own schedule. There are plenty of places to stop off and rest up along the way. Depending on which route you choose, you’ll get to see all kinds of stunning scenery, from rolling hills, picture-perfect vineyards, and rural villages to glistening oceans, golden beaches, and bustling towns.
Some routes are best hiked in spring, while others enjoy the finest conditions in summer or fall. Whichever route you’re planning, avoid hiking in winter when most of the Camino de Santiago will be cold and wet.
9. Snorkel off the coast of Mallorca
Take a trip to the Balearic Islands and have a go at one of the best natural Spain activities – snorkeling! There are a bunch of great places to go snorkeling in Spain, but it’s tough to beat the crystal-clear waters you’ll find around Mallorca.
Cala des Moro is one of the top snorkeling spots in Mallorca. This small bay in the east of the island is almost entirely untouched, and things are always peaceful if you visit early in the morning. You can easily swim into deep waters from the bay, where you’ll have the chance to see schools of colorful, tropical fish.
The rocks around Cala Deia on the island’s northwest coast also provide a first-rate place for snorkeling. The visibility here is incredible, and you can see all kinds of underwater marine life.
Be wary of swimming in this bay during summer. Jellyfish regularly pay a visit during the warmer months!
10. Get refreshed with a bowl of gazpacho
When the Spanish sunshine gets to be too much for you, cool off with a bowl of chilled gazpacho. Served in many restaurants as an appetizer, gazpacho is a traditional soup made of ripe tomatoes, juicy cucumber, rich olive oil, and aromatic garlic.
To make the classic soup, all the ingredients are blended together and chilled before being served in icy-cold bowls or glasses. It’s a wonderful way to freshen up after a long, hot day at the beach. Despite its simplicity, it has an intense, moreish flavor.
Gazpacho is a really popular dish, and you’ll find it on menus all over the country. Some of the best gazpacho we ever had came from Eslava in Seville. This fine-dining restaurant serves flavor-packed gazpacho with freshly-baked bread.
If you’re in Madrid, visit Viridiana for gazpacho with a twist. Here they use the most amazing tomatoes from the south of Spain and top each bowl with delicate pieces of fresh mackerel.
11. Check out the Museo Guggenheim Bilbao
Exploring the world-class museums is one of the top things to do in Spain. If you’re planning on visiting Bilbao during your trip, the Museo Guggenheim Bilbao is one you’ve definitely got to check out.
The building alone looks remarkable. With its shimmering titanium that twists and turns as it pleases, the museum is almost more famous for its one-of-a-kind architecture than its riveting content. The rolling canopies, jutting cliffs, nautical ship shapes, and flying fins will leave you captivated.
Inside the Museo Guggenheim Bilbao, you’ll discover a world of contemporary and modern art. Here all the exhibits seem larger-than-life, from the spider-inspired Maman that stands 30 feet tall outside the museum to the Matter of Time sculptures that fill entire corridors.
Some other pieces worth seeking out include the floral Puppy by Jeff Koons, Seascape by Gerhard Richter, Large Blue Anthropometry by Yves Klein, and Nine Discourses n Commodus by Cy Twombly.
12. Get messy at La Tomatina
If you’re planning on visiting Spain in the summer, try and plan your trip so you’re in Buñol, Valencia, at the end of August. On the last Wednesday of August, the usually sleepy city comes to life and throws one of the biggest food fights the world has ever seen!
Known as La Tomatina, the messy festival sees hundreds of tons of overripe tomatoes that are ready to burst thrown in the streets by thousands of people. Visitors travel from all across the world for the chance to get involved and throw tomatoes at everyone who passes them by.
By the end of the festival, the streets of Buñol are covered in what looks like tomato soup. If you’re planning on getting involved, make sure you wear clothes you don’t mind getting ruined! Alternatively, choose a hotel room or apartment with a street view, so you can watch all the action take place without getting messy!
13. Be spoiled for choice at Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias
Valencia is where you’ll find some of the most exciting Spain attractions. For an experience you’ll be talking about for months, spend the day at Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias. This huge place spans more than 1.25 miles and is jampacked full of things to see and do for everyone, whatever you’re into.
You’ve got to check out Hemisfèric, the ultra-modern IMAX and 3D cinema; Umbracle, the landscape walk lined by indigenous trees; the innovative Science Museum, and Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía, which operates as an opera house as well as performing arts center.
Oceanogràfic is arguably the highlight of the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias. It’s the largest aquarium in Europe and also boasts the longest underwater tunnel on the continent. If you want an evening unlike any other, you can spend the night in the tunnel and fall asleep while sharks gracefully swim above you.
14. Take it easy on Praia das Catedrais in Galicia
One of the most beautiful beaches in all of Spain is found in Galicia. Praia das Catedrais (Cathedral Beach) is a long section of coastline best known for its unique rock formations, arches, and caves.
For the best experience, plan to show up two hours before or after low tide. This way, you’ll be able to see the emblematic arches in all their glory and walk through them. If you’re a fan of photography, it’s worth timing your visit for low tide during golden hour so you can snap stunning pics.
Head to the far end of the eastern side of the beach and look for a large cave. From here, you can turn around and see all the arches, each appearing to be tucked inside the one in front of it.
Because this beach is so popular, you need to obtain a permit to visit during Easter, summer, and long holiday weekends. Because the beach is always packed during these holidays, it’s best to avoid these dates if you can.
15. Treat your taste buds to jamón
If you’re a fan of charcuterie, one of the must-do things in Spain is to try jamón. Jamón is a type of dry-cured jam, similar to the prosciutto you get in Italy. When it’s at its best, jamón is sliced super thin, with a delicate texture and intense flavor.
There are several different types of jamón in Spain. One of our favorites is jamón serrano. For hundreds of years, locals in the mountains of Spain have packed fresh hams in salt and hung them from their rafters to cure. After 18 months, the hams are washed, then carved into wafer-thin slices, and used to fill sandwiches, pair with cheese, or eat on their own.
Jamón ibérico is similar to jamón serrano, but it’s made from the meat of special pigs. These pigs roam free in western Spain, feasting on acorns in the fall. This results in an even more decadent jamón taste with thin lines of healthy fat that are almost as good for you as virgin olive oil.
You’ll find both types of jamón on the menu of almost all Spanish restaurants. You’ll also find a huge selection in most local supermarkets.
16. Go sandboarding in Gran Canaria
For an action-packed sport that’s a little bit different, try sandboarding in Gran Canaria. The southern coastline of the island is covered in undulating sand dunes, creating the perfect environment for this sport.
Strap on a board and soar down the sandy slopes while the breeze flies through your hair. You don’t need any special equipment – just a pair of sturdy shoes!
If you’ve got a GoPro camera, you can capture some great shots while sandboarding. Alternatively, your guide can take photos or videos for you.
You can sign up for a single four-hour experience on this tour if you just want to try it out. Or if you really want to get the hang of it, there are three- and five-day packages available.
Don’t worry if you’ve never been snowboarding before. Sandboarding is perfect for newbies as well as experts. The designated area is filled with sand dunes of all sizes and gradients. There are small, gentle dunes if you want to take things easy, as well as tall, steep dunes if you’re up for a challenge.
17. Be blown away by La Merce
One of the most fun things to do in Spain in the fall takes place in Barcelona. Known as La Merce, this festival is made up of more than 500 incredible activities and events.
From music concerts, art exhibitions, and acrobatic shows to vibrant parades, street parties, and firework displays, there’s absolutely loads going on. What makes La Merce stand out from the rest of Spain’s lively events is the incredible Castellers.
These talented performers climb on top of each other to create human towers in Placa de Jaume. Unlike the typical pyramid shape you might have seen people form before, Castellers form much taller structures, with some layers of the tower being made up of just two people.
Another part of La Merce you won’t want to miss is the Correfoc. During this bizarre event, groups dress up as devils and run through the streets with firecrackers and handheld fireworks. Fire breathing dragons also roam the streets, lighting up the night with their flames!
18. Ride rollercoasters after dark at Parque Warner Madrid
When you need a break from classic sightseeing, spend a couple of days at Parque Warner Madrid. Whether you’re looking for high-speed thrills, family-friendly rides, or somewhere fun you can take the smallest members of your family, this awesome theme park has it all!
The park is divided into five separate areas where you’ll find themed rides, dining areas, shows, and characters. The child-friendly Cartoon Village is the best place to watch the Looney Tunes Dance Festival or have lunch with Tweety.
Old West Territory is the place to ride the Coaster Express (the longest wooden rollercoaster in Europe). After that, head over to DC Super Heroes World, where you can soar 213 feet into the air on Superman: Atracción de Acero.
One of the most fun things to do at Parque Warner Madrid is to hang around until after sunset and go on all the rides again after dark. The most challenging rollercoasters are extreme enough during the day. But going on them again in the dark is a whole new level of intensity!
19. Go skiing in the Sierra Nevada
If you’re wondering what to do in Spain in winter, head to the south and go skiing in the Sierra Nevada. Home to some of the highest slopes in Europe, this resort is a fantastic place to strap on some skis and zoom down powdery white slopes.
The Sierra Nevada is broken up into four individual ski areas. Catch one of the lifts up to the mid-station at Borreguiles, and you’ll find yourself at the nursery zone. These calm hills are where you’ll find the green and blue slopes, perfect for beginner skiers.
For something a little more challenging, carry on up to the 11,000-foot point for intermediary slopes and freestyle terrain, where you can get really creative on the long red runs.
Even if you’re not really into skiing, you can still have loads of fun in the Sierra Nevada. With everything from snowboarding and tobogganing to ski biking and ice skating on your doorstep, you’re guaranteed to have an amazing time.
20. Sip sparkling cava
When you need to relax after a long day of sightseeing, head to the nearest bar and order yourself a glass of cava. A type of sparkling wine, cava is the Spanish equivalent of France’s champagne and Italy’s prosecco.
The grapes used to make cava are native to Catalonia and give the bubbly drink a robustly floral and strikingly citrusy taste. It’s available in sweet, dry, and medium varieties, so you’re sure to find a type of cava you enjoy. Some places even serve rosé cava – a beautiful pink cava made from pinot noir, monastrell, or garnacha grapes.
If you’re a fan of sangria, keep an eye out for bars and restaurants offering cava sangria. Although it’s not really an authentic dish, it tastes fantastic! Cava sangria is made of white cava combined with fresh citrus fruits and often some type of orange or lemon liqueur. The result is a sweet and zingy cocktail you’ll fall in love with after your first sip!
21. Go on a tapas tour in Madrid
Eating tapas is a quintessential part of everyday life in Madrid and signing up for a tapas tour is one of the absolute best things to do in Spain. Tapas are typically enjoyed in the evening, along with drinks. With every drink you order, you get a small plate of food to nibble as you sip.
There’s a vast amount of tapas available throughout the country, with a huge assortment of meat, fish, seafood, vegetarian, and vegan options. During our travels, we fell in love with patatas bravas (fried potatoes with spicy tomato sauce), croquetas (potato croquettes stuffed with all sorts of goodies), chorizo a la sidra (spicy sausage cooked in cider), and pimientos de Padron (small peppers deep-fried and sprinkled with sea salt).
Tapas Tours Madrid organizes an amazing tapas tour that’s suitable for people of all ages. You get to visit three or four great bars for fantastic tapas, along with soda, beer, or wine. There are all kinds of Spanish delicacies to try, from the best cider in Madrid to the crispiest squid rings you’ve ever had in your life!
22. Step inside the first house designed by Gaudi
Barcelona is full of Gaudi’s stunning creations. While most people know about the Sagrada Familia and Parc Guell, only a handful know about the very first house he ever designed – Casa Vicens.
The famous artist began to design the house in 1878, and it was finally completed in 1885. After being a private home to several families for 130 years, it opened to the public in 2017 as a captivating and charming museum.
Casa Vicens boasts an engrossing Neo-Mudéjar architectural style that Gaudi was fond of during his Orientalist period. The mosaic-like stained-glass windows, arched ceilings, and vibrant colors will make you feel like you’re in Morrocco – not Spain! Intricate papier-mâché decorations over the walls of some rooms add an extra special touch.
Don’t miss the chance to walk along the rooftop. It was originally designed to be a place to escape, but today it rewards visitors with breathtaking views that sweep over 19th-century Barcelona.
23. Explore the ancient palace of Alhambra
For one of the best sights in Spain, head to Granada and spend a day exploring the Alhambra. Once the prestigious palace of the first Nasrid king, el Ahmar, today, the Alhambra is a stellar tourist hotspot that attracts around 3 million people each year.
The Moorish-Hispanic treasure is guaranteed to blow you away. With its ornate ceilings, delicate carvings, grandiose halls, and relaxing royal baths, it’s easy to imagine royalty living the good life here.
The palace grounds are every bit as spectacular as the buildings. Leafy tree-lined walkways provide you with some much-needed shade as you wander through charming courtyards, past marble fountains, peaceful lakes, and colorful plants.
Make sure you check out the Alcazaba citadel. It’s the oldest building in the Alhambra and was used as a fortification in the 9th century. La Vela tower is also worth seeking out. Climb to the top, and you’ll find some of the most stunning views in all of Granada.
24. Tackle what used to be the most dangerous hike in the world
If you’re up for a challenge, lace up your hiking boots and follow the Caminito del Rey in Malaga. This hike used to be one of the most dangerous things to do in Spain. But following a complete restoration and thorough safety check, it’s now an incredible and secure hike you’ve got to experience during your vacation.
At around 5 miles long, the Caminito del Rey is fairly short – but the distance isn’t the challenging bit. For most of the walk, you’ll be following exceedingly narrow pathways with sheer 330 feet drops below into a fast-paced river. The paths are built solidly into the rock face, but you’ll need a lot of courage to get from start to finish.
While you’re testing your limits, don’t miss the chance to take in your surroundings. The landscape, with its golden rock, aquamarine river, and tree-clad mountains, is beyond dazzling.
Keep an eye out for the photo opportunity close to the end. There’s a long glass pathway that juts out over the water. Have your picture taken here, and you’ll look like you’re floating above the river!
25. Go clubbing in Ibiza
Ibiza is one of the best places in Spain to let your hair down and party. While the nightclubs might have experienced their heyday back in the 1990s, they’re still alive and kicking today. With larger-than-life venues, unbelievable performances, spectacular light shows, and some of the hottest dance tracks from yesterday and today, nowhere does clubbing like Ibiza!
Playa d’en Bossa on the eastern coast of Ibiza is one of the best places for nightclubs. Here you’ll find Hï Ibiza, Ushuaïa, and Octan. The popular beach resort is also just a 10-minute drive or cab ride away from the infamous Pacha club in Old Town.
Almost all of Ibiza’s nightclubs host theme parties every week – sometimes several times each week in the summer season. Check their website before you go to find out what’s going on during your visit.
There you have it! The 25 best things to do in Spain. What’s your favorite thing to do in Spain?
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